Make Detroit water affordable

Make Detroit water affordable.
This month, Philadelphia started the country’s first water affordability program to help low-income residents pay their water bill on time, generate reliable revenue, and keep the water flowing to impacted households.
For over a decade, Detroiters and water affordability advocates have been pushing city leaders to reconcile the city’s high poverty and high water and sewerage rates by implementing a fair and sustainable plan that gives all Detroiters access to clean and safe drinking water as guaranteed by Detroit’s City Charter.
Calling Detroit “ground zero” for water affordability solutions, the panel listed short-term and long-term ways the city could make water more affordable and bills more collectible.
But they do, every day.
Studies show that income inequality and water inequality are matters of life and death.
The Journal of the American Medical Association recently found that the poorest residents of southeast Michigan die six years sooner than the poor in other U.S. metro areas.
A year after the Blue Ribbon Panel issued its report, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department announced that it would shut off water to 18,000 Detroit customers with delinquent accounts.
Detroit’s elected leaders can make Detroit a water affordability pioneer like Philadelphia.
Labor Voices columns are written on a rotating basis by United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams, Teamsters President James Hoffa, Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber and Michigan Education Association President Steven Cook.

Learn More